Paris, July 19 (IANS) A former French presidential security aide is under investigation by the Paris prosecutor’s office after a video emerged of him allegedly beating anti-government protesters, officials said on Thursday.
A video published by a local newspaper allegedly showed Alexandre Benalla, who had been in charge of security during President Emmanuel Macron’s trips, reportedly wearing a police helmet and armband. He was seen attacking two protesters at a May 1 street demonstration in Paris, where he had requested special permission to observe police during his day off.
Judiciary sources told Efe news that investigators were probing alleged acts of violence perpetrated by a person employed in a public service and undue use of paraphernalia reserved for use by public authority.
Élysée Palace spokesperson Bruno Roger-Petit said in a statement that Benalla’s behaviour was unacceptable and he went too far by physically intervening in the operation.
Benalla has been suspended for 15 days without pay and is no longer responsible for Macron’s security during trips, a punishment that the spokesperson said was a final warning before dismissal and the largest sanction imposed on a presidential mission chief so far.